This is one of SANPARKS’ 19 national parks and situated in the adventure province of the Eastern Cape. At the moment Addo Elephant Park ranks third in size following on the famous Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi in the Northern Cape Province.
It is not as big as Kruger and as crowded as Kruger, but still give you a wildlife experience like none other. Here you can not only see the Big Five but also, hyena, warthogs, various buck species, zebra, smaller creatures and birds (more than 417 species have been listed). Remember that you will see lots and lots of elephants – it is after all Addo Elephant Park – and do not forget the smaller creatures and birds.
The park is within easy reach for a day drive from Port Elizabeth. Pack a picnic basket and leave early as the gates open at 06:00 during summer and closes at 18:00, but check before you go as times change according to season. If you do not want to do a self-drive there is also a hop-on facility at reception where an experience guide will share his knowledge with you. They also offer horse back rides in certain sections of the park.
At the main gate near reception there is an interpretative centre where kids (and adults) can explore all kinds of interesting facts on wild animals.
For me elephants are quite amusing and I can sit and watch them for hours, especially the smaller ones that do not yet have such good control over their trunks and it more or less flip-flop all over the place. The teenagers on the other hand are very daring and will chase anything that have an element of possible fun.
Most important of all is to respect speed limits and park rules. Rules are there for everyone, and to the benefit of everyone, to have enjoyable experience. If you need some tips head over to the post: At the waterhole.
There is also more than just game viewing to the park. Along the Woody Cape area you will find the longest untouched sand dunes in the Southern hemisphere and of course whales along the coast.
Bonus tip: Remember during SANPARKS week in September entry to the park is free